Change of Status

FAQs on Changes of Visa Status


I want to apply for a change of status to become an F-1 status student. How do I change my status to F-1?

The student needs to follow the change of status checklist and procedure to apply for a change of visa status. After collecting the documents on the checklist, the student needs to make an appointment with the IPS immigration advisor to apply for the change of status. The application will be sent to the USCIS Office in Lincoln, Nebraska. It can take 2 to 3 months to accomplish a change of status.


I have applied for a change of visa status. Do I need to take a full course load in fall and spring semesters?

Students on all kinds of visas (except F-2 visa holders) who are applicants of a change of visa status to F-1 are required to maintain a full course load while they are applicants and waiting for the USCIS decision. The visa status change is time-consuming and students are not allowed to work on-campus or off-campus (curricular practical training) until their status change to F-1 is approved.


My change of visa status to F-1 is approved by USCIS. If I return home do I need to get an F-1 visa stamp to re-enter the U.S?

YES. To reenter the U.S., a student must have a valid F-1 visa stamp. Please see the Travel section on how to apply for an F-1 visa abroad, collect the documents on the checklist, and see an IPS advisor prior to visiting the home country.